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The prologue
10-27-2012, 10:21 AM
Post: #1
The prologue
Well, I've finished the fourth draft of the prologue to Star Seeker After Truth. It's in enough shape that I'd like to ask a big favor of those who have lived through this project with me. The prologue will, along with one chapter, be the basis for my book proposal. As such, it has to be perfect. What I'd like is for as many who want to do this, to download the file attached and read and comment on it.

To give some background. The prologue will serve as the dramatic opening of the book, over and above the introduction. I will contrast this with a coda that will discuss Tarbell's relevance in light of a speech by Benjamin Thomas in 1946. In between, of course, will be the story itself.

What I would like is for those who read it to give me feedback not only on its readability, but does it make sense? While I certainly enjoy people telling me they like what I write, constructive criticism is much more preferred as it tends to make it better. Is my phrasing OK? Do I make too much of one thing and not enough of another? And, Laurie, is it grammatically correct? For a writer, I struggle with grammar and punctuation. <sigh>

Take your time with it and please, be honest. I've been a writer long enough to know that criticism properly channeled is designed to make something better. My ego can take it.

Thanks!

Best
Rob


Attached File(s)
.pdf  Prologue Fourth Draft.pdf (Size: 217.93 KB / Downloads: 28)

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-27-2012, 03:10 PM
Post: #2
RE: The prologue
Rob, I am very poor at constructive criticism, so I will leave that to others. You don't want people to simply say they like what you write, but I am going to say that anyway. I enjoyed reading it.

Regarding commas, when I was in school, I was taught that when you use a city and state together, a comma is used to separate the city from the state and after the state. I think I saw at least 3 instances where you didn't put a comma after the state. We can let Laurie make her ruling on this.
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10-27-2012, 03:48 PM
Post: #3
RE: The prologue
Given my aforementioned troubles with punctuation, your comments were very constructive. Thanks!

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-27-2012, 04:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: The prologue
Rob,

Since I live very close to where the monster storm is due to hit, I can't guarantee a full reading of your work. However, Roger is absolutely correct about commas separating city from state and then state from the rest of the sentence. The same is true in dealing with dates (unless they have changed the rules on that): April 14,1865, was a sad date in American history. Note the comma after 1865.

I must admit that I stick with what I was taught in school and college, but publishers and editors (especially in the newspaper field) appear to have decided on their own brands of grammar and punctuation over the past fifty years -- and not to the better in my opinion. I shudder to think what the current craze in texting is leading to...
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10-27-2012, 04:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: The prologue
Thanks Laurie. Stay safe!

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-27-2012, 04:30 PM
Post: #6
RE: The prologue
(10-27-2012 04:01 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Since I live very close to where the monster storm is due to hit ...

Oh, Laurie, me too! Be safe!
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10-27-2012, 06:10 PM
Post: #7
RE: The prologue
I hope you will be safe also, Dawn. The derecho we had several months ago scared me worse than some hurricanes I have been through. I'm really nervous about this storm.
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10-27-2012, 06:40 PM
Post: #8
RE: The prologue
(10-27-2012 06:10 PM)L Verge Wrote:  I hope you will be safe also, Dawn. The derecho we had several months ago scared me worse than some hurricanes I have been through. I'm really nervous about this storm.

Me too! I was actually out driving in it (from my daughter's house, 45 minutes away), when that one came out of nowhere. I felt like I was in The Wizard of Oz! And then three days without power or water in the middle of a heatwave was a real nightmare.

I'm frightened, Auntie Em!
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10-27-2012, 08:57 PM
Post: #9
RE: The prologue
I enjoyed reading it. I don't usually read the prologue or intoductions, I like to jump right into the book.
It flowed well, I was on your last page before I realized it.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-28-2012, 10:22 AM
Post: #10
RE: The prologue
Gene,

Thanks for your input. That was exactly what I was going for.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-28-2012, 02:16 PM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2012 02:17 PM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #11
RE: The prologue
Thanks Herb! I appreciate your kind words. One of these days I might actually have to read one of the dozen or so books I have on grammar and punctuation. Big Grin

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-28-2012, 04:45 PM
Post: #12
RE: The prologue
Rob,
Interesting and well written prologue. The language flowed well. I am embarrassed to say that I had to look up the word "Gladiolus." Perhaps I need to brush up on my Botany!

Craig
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10-28-2012, 04:56 PM
Post: #13
RE: The prologue
Thanks Craig. "Glads" were my mother's favorite flower. I loved the look of them, and I was unaware of their funereal connotation until doing some research. Mom died in January 2003. We wanted to get glads for her casket, but the local flower shop didn't have any and to get them would have taken too long and would have been cost-prohibitive. I put some on her grave later that summer.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-28-2012, 06:57 PM
Post: #14
RE: The prologue
Rob: I have to tell you-the writing is simply beautiful. I didn't want it to end. I especially love the tie-in with Sandburg. Great work!

Bill Nash
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10-28-2012, 07:09 PM
Post: #15
RE: The prologue
Thanks Bill. As soon as I get the prologue in the kind of shape I think it needs to be in, I will turn my attention to writing a chapter that will be the second part of the book proposal.

This entire experience has proven to me how vital it is to look at someone's papers and not hire a researcher. Many of the mentions of Sandburg I've come across were not in the finding aid. I would have never known of their existence.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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